Research Associate, Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
Dr. Simone Pfleger defended her dissertation “(Un)Doing and (Un)Becoming: Temporality, Subjectivity, and Relationality in Twenty-First-Century German Literature and Film,” supervised by Jennifer Kapczynski at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in December 2017. She earned a Magister in English and Biology at the University of Salzburg in Austria, and an MA in German Studies at Georgia State University. Her dissertation focuses on how 21st-century German-language literature and film reveal out-of-sync and nonteleological moments and momentums, which allow for the emergence of new types of subjectivities with non-conforming identities, bodily desires and pleasures, and precarious positionalities. Other research interests include gender and queer theory, (political) subjectivity, affect, intimacy, precarity, and futurity in contemporary German literature, film, and culture.
For the 2017–18 academic year, Simone joins a cohort of international scholars as an independent researcher at the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies at the University of Alberta. She is working on an article on Austrian author Thomas Glavinic’s crime novel Lisa. She hopes to examine how Glavinic’s novel allows the reader to negotiate traditional notions of body and humanness through an interrogation of the constitutive regimes of conventional interpellative practices and corporeal intelligibility as a function of subjectivity. Simone will also start the research on a major project that builds on the core theoretical questions and conclusions of her dissertation. In this new project, Simone examines how contemporary filmmakers mobilize certain discourses around the body and identity vis-à-vis the state and others in a cluster of 21st-century German-language films. She focuses on the circulation of bodies in contemporary labor economies between Austria or Germany and Central European countries such as Poland and Romania or those further east such as Ukraine. Emphasizing the role that labor plays in the construction and determination of the value of the subject, Simone intends to make visible what kinds of bodies enter and are ejected from the labor economy and how subjects navigate the social realm of the respective filmic worlds